Do you believe in fairytale? I do. The story of the Paradise group isn’t exactly a rise from the rugs to riches one, but it’s close enough. For someone who started off with a cze-char stall in the industrial park Defu lane, to a group of restaurants that includes the fine-dining Taste paradise, seafood restaurant Seafood paradise, and middle-range Paradise inn, doesn’t it sounds like a fairytale ending?
I have wanted to go to taste paradise for a very long time. But their original outlet at Mosque street does not serve dim sum, and so I waited until now for their new branch in Ion that has dim sum for lunch.
Having tried the most expensive xiaolongbao, and also the dirt-cheap-but-good ones in Nanxiang restaurant Shanghai; everything in between seem exceptionally ordinary to me. I know for a matter of fact there are people who love to pop a dozen of xiaolongbao ($3.80 for 4) into their mouth, but not me, one is enough.
Ladies and gentlemen, this, is the one you must try. I will go as far as saying Taste Paradise’s rendition is as good as the best char siew sou ($3.60 for 3) that I’ve so far, Buttery undertone of the flaky pastry, sweet and juicy char siew fillings, honey get your hands off the plate!
My dear, listen to me carefully for this is going to be very important, you need to have three for yourself, uh-uh, no sharing, and maybe that isn’t enough – make it six each!
I was contemplating whether to have the usual Siew mai & har gau ($4.80 for 4), we didn’t fancy having the former, thus only the latter was ordered. It might be a case of having too much dim sum, but the steamed prawn dumpling, unlike the char siew sou or custard bun, is just not sex-citing enough.
We also had the Steamed cheong fun with prawns ($5.20), it was some sort like a go-between, not fantastic, but not all bad either. Increasingly, it’s getting more challenging to get a good cheong fun. The problem lies with me, and me alone. Define what makes a good cheong fun: the rice rolls must not be too thick that it will stick to the teeth, nor can it be too thin that the roll breaks and expose all the ingredients. The fillings of prawn or char siew must be fresh, and the light sauce must be able to make the simple cheong fun taste good.
For someone who do not like yam except for yam cake, I always find myself ordering the Fried Taro puff ($3.60 for 3) when I’m having dim sum. This one was pretty disappointing, the fried crispy exterior was not too bad, but the yam fillings were too mushy for my liking.
I tasted Custard bun for the first time about one and a half years back, since then I only had it on just a few several occasions. I remember very clearly staring at the ordinary-looking bun, the kind of buns that you get from the neighbor coffeeshop, whatever it is, those that taste plain and boring.
Imagine my reaction when I torn apart a small corner of the fluffy-light bun, hot molten custard fillings flowed out like lava from an erupting volcano, I scrambled to save every single drop of the yellow-golden fillings – they are oh-my-god, so good! ‘Yummy…!’
Towards the end, we had a second round of custard buns and were deciding whether to have one more serving of the char siew sou or go for the Baked BBQ Pork Bun ($3.80 for 3). I had fond memories of this dish, but the one here wasn’t what I thought it was, instead of the bo luo bao texture, it tasted more like deep-fried bread. The char siew fillings were great, but I’d rather have the crispy puff pastry than the honey-glazed baked buns.
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I have always insist that my favourite dim sum place is Yanting and Royal China, but now, we have a new addition to the list for best dim sum – Taste Paradise. There’s a problem though, it’s affordable, and it’s right in the middle of town. I’ll probably forget about all the other dim sum, and just binge on the char siew sou and custard buns – they are that good! See you there!
2 Orchard Turn
#04-07 Ion Orchard
Tel: 6509 9660
Taste Paradise is listed as one of ladyironchef’s favorite restaurants in Singapore